Members of America's middle class - President Barack Obama's targeted audience for Tuesday's State of the Union Address - were preparing for another workday at the Rutter's Farm Store on Pennsylvania Avenue Wednesday morning.

Picking up breakfast and topping off their gas tanks, those who watched the speech offered both praise and concern for Obama's proposals.

Though York County is predominantly Republican and the concept of gun restriction is not, two Rutter's customers said Wednesday that they appreciated the president's impassioned appeal for gun control.

"He was very emotive at the end, with gun control," said Jerry Del Campo, a 70-year-old West Manchester Township resident who was filling up the van he drives for F&S Transportation.

He said the president was correct in saying there should be more restrictions.

"We don't need combat weapons for our homes," Del Campo said. "Anything in excess is not good. I hope people will listen because we have to protect our children."

Mike Mummert, a 57-year-old Spring Garden Township resident and a salesman for Rutter's Dairy, said he would support tighter rules for assault weapons.

"(The proposal) sounds good, but whether they can all get their ideas together and work together to get something done is another story," Mummert said.

That sort of inaction is why Congress frustrates the American people, Mummert said.

While both men said they appreciated the president's impassioned plea, gun control appears unlikely to gain the traction it needs to climb Capitol Hill.


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Minimum wage: Though Obama got local support on gun control, the Rutter's customers said they have concerns about his proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 per hour.

Mummert said the boost in wages is probably welcome news to the average worker, but he, as a businessman, worries that the raise could cause problems for businesses.

Del Campo said the proposal won't be popular with Republicans and might not pass, and he's not sure it should.

"Minimum wage should be determined by the market," he said. "If you need more workers, you raise the wage. But sometimes (raising the government-mandated minimum wage) has the possibility of eliminating jobs because the businesses can't afford to hire."

- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.